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    Mark Harris

    Medication reviews are still infrequent and this is one of relatively few evaluations of their impact. Professor Larson’s comments suggest that communication, relationships and trust are no less important in the this as in any other aspect of inter-professional teamwork. The HMR process itself does not necessarily develop teamwork. Colocating pharmacists within primary health care teams may help create this if we can step around the Competition Policy.

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    Andrew Roberts

    Regarding the impact on rural and remote areas:
    Home Medicine Reviews (HMRs) in remote areas have long been problematical. As discussed, solo pharmacists in remote rural areas cannot leave their pharmacy to perform them. In truly remote areas there is usually no pharmacist as part of the primary healthcare team.

    The Australian Pharmacy Council (of which all Pharmacy Boards are members) released a report in June 2009 on the Remote Rural Pharmacists Project (PDF) looking at ways for pharmacists to be able to work outside the confines of a pharmacy in remote rural areas.

    The Department of Health and Ageing in December 2008 released a report by Campbell Research & Consulting on the Home Medicines Review Program Qualitative Research Project (PDF) that contain strategies for providing alternative models of HMRs to reach Indigenous consumers.

    OATSIH has also recently funded a pharmacist position with an Aboriginal Health Service. If this continues and some points in these reports are acted on there is hope for better service delivery of HMRs by pharmacists in remote areas.

    Robbo
    (Disclosure: I had some input into both reports)

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